How to Play a 24-Hole Tremolo Harmonica

Written by maxfield carroll
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How to Play a 24-Hole Tremolo Harmonica
A tremolo harmonica produces notes with a vibrating tone. (harmonica image by Julia Chernikova from

The 24-hole tremolo harmonica is a double-reed musical instrument. Each set of holes on the harmonica allows air to pass over two reeds, one reed tuned slightly higher than the other, to produce a note with a vibrating "tremolo" tone. Tremolo harmonicas are popular in Europe and Asia, where they are used in classical, folk and traditional music.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 24-hole tremolo harmonica

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  1. 1

    Hold the harmonica in one hand between the thumb and forefinger. The lowest notes should be on the left end. Cup the other hand around the harmonica for support.

  2. 2

    Pucker your lips, and blow or draw air through one set of top and bottom paired holes to obtain a note with a tremolo effect. It is possible to play one reed alone, without tremolo, by blowing or drawing air through a single top or bottom hole.

  3. 3

    Determine the note layout of your 24-hole tremolo harmonica. These harmonicas are made with a variety of tunings. You can refer to the web sites in the Resources below or compare each note to a reference instrument such as a piano.

  4. 4

    Look for sheet music or harmonica tablature of your favourite tunes. Convert the information to match the tuning of your 24-hole tremolo harmonica. Figure out other simple melodies by ear.

Tips and warnings

  • It is easier to bend a note by playing a single reed rather than the pair.

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